Good News at Noon
979 Davis St., Gainesville, 770-503-1366
The Good News at Noon shelter in Gainesville had two passenger vans before a wreck on Wednesday. Now it has one.
"It's a hardship any time you lose transportation," said the Rev. Ed Grant, director of Good News at Noon. "We'll have to double up on the one that we have. "
The ministry uses the vans mostly for transporting children and families to activities at the shelter.
Many of the families served do not have their own transportation.
"They can't get here to get the services and the food that we offer," Grant said. "And so we try to help get people who can't get here where they can be served by the ministry."
Each day the vans make rounds, picking up people to bring to the shelter for activities. Now, the remaining vehicle, a 1994 16-passenger van, will leave earlier and likely make multiple trips. Then in the afternoon, staff likely will stay later to get everyone home.
"We may have to cut back on who we pick up, but mostly what we'll do is just double up with the one that we have," Grant said.
Grant hopes they won't do this for long, though.
"We've already begun to pray and ask the Lord for a van," Grant said. "And he has always been faithful to supply our needs, and so we anticipate receiving one pretty soon."
The ministry does not ask the community for money.
Another serious loss for the ministry is that General Manager Thomas Ramirez is temporarily out of commission. Ramirez was driving the van when it crashed into a dump truck. He broke his nose and received minor cuts and bruises.
Ramirez was cited for running a red light in the accident.
"He's in a great deal of pain,' Grant said. "And it will probably be several days before he's able to begin taking up (his) duties.... Of course, it has crippled us with him not being able."
Ramirez was able to spend time in the dining room after Thursday night's service. Everyone else is pitching in during his absence, though, Grant said.
"We've got Willie Alexandra, who is in charge of our community service, and we've got Mike Robertson who is Thomas' assistant manager of the shelter," Grant said. "And between them and myself we are trying to do as best we can to fulfill the duties that Thomas had until he's able to return."